“My Life as a Golf Marshall” :What Does a Golf Marshall Do?

A golf Marshall is a golf course ambassador meaning in many cases a job description is impossible as it means handling whatever can come up. Primarily it is moving the game along. It’s called keeping pace. In the ideal world there is an interval between foursomes teeing off every 10 minutes so the space should be always 10 minutes between golfers with no jam ups or bottlenecks throughout the entire 18 holes. But this rarely happens and why? Most golfers should be playing ready golf which means playing individually and not congregating waiting for each golfer to hit and then dispersing for their own shot. It is fine to walk together down the fairway for a bit of time but at some point golfers should head for the ball they strike for their next hit. Not always done particularly by juniors. Then there is the golfer hunting for their lost ball or looking for other’s lost balls. And then there can be the golfer taking five practice swings and duffing the ball. Inconsiderate and rude golfers are the bane of the Marshall who has to be polite and say speed it up or walk to the next hole or leave the course. On the other hand as etiquette courses are not mandatory the laggard golfer may be blissfully ignorant.

So it is a diplomatic game where you feel like saying “You are not a particularly good golfer. You should be playing at a pitch and putt and why the * are you taking more time than a professional golfer to hit your ball. Hit the * ball”. No you are a diplomat saying please, please can you help me and keep pace. If you can’t politely enforce pace you have no career as a Marshall. Sorry “career” is a bad choice of words.

Then you may have to ferry a late golfer to his/her group. You may need to take bandages and ice to a golfer that has scraped a bodily extremity on a rough edge of a golf cart or ferry an elderly golfer up to their car.

Be ready for just about anything. Be patient. Be compassionate. Be even tempered. Do not be overbearing. Be Mother Theresa. Blessed be those who are rude, selfish and ignorant.

Before I go a Marshall loves those who play ready golf in a true Scottish tradition. Walk up to the ball, select a club based on intuition and experience without a viewfinder gauging distance. HIT THE BALL. ONE PRACTICE SWING. PUTT WITHOUT ANY PRACTICE STROKES. MOVE QUICKLY TO THE NEXT HOLE. The Marshall’s dream is seeing golfers are ready golfers.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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